Ireland’s capital is easily one of Europe’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities, a place where visitors can sip their Guinness alongside the locals until the small hours, shop ’til they drop or soak up as much culture as they fancy.
If there’s one thing the Irish love it’s to have a good time with a Guinness in hand. Find the right pub where the locals are in full song and you’ll soon know what they’re talking about when they talk about the craic.
The main drinking area in Dublin, its cobbled streets lined with charming pubs, many of which belt out traditional music every night of the week. Combine boozing with the city’s heritage by joining a literary pub crawl and learn all about the likes of Oscar Wilde and James Joyce over a few pints.
Ireland’s second city was the European Capital of Culture 2005 and is perfect for whiling away a couple of days. It offers some fine Georgian architecture along the Grand Parade and South Mall, while St Finbarr’s Cathedral, built in 1879, is one of the city’s most dramatic buildings.
Head to the west coast of Ireland and you’ll find its spirit and youthfulness in the city of Galway. The place is packed with lively pubs and has a great music and arts scene. During race week at the end of July, the place gets even wilder than usual. Indeed, the races are one of the highlights if you visit during the summer season.
As the festival capital of Ireland, you’re sure of having a good time in Kilkenny. The town is best known for its arts and music scene, so a visit during the Kilkenny Arts Festival in August is definitely worthwhile, but book accommodation well in advance. It also hosts the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in June and the Celtic Festival in October.